IGNACE BAUWENS
11

IGNACE BAUWENS

Wyndham Hotel Group regional vice president, Middle East and Africa
Wyndham has 27 hotels and 6,167 rooms in the MENA pipeline, while already operating 49 hotels and 8,528 rooms in the region

With more than 32 years of experience in the hospitality industry, since assuming the role of regional vice president, Middle East and Africa for Wyndham Hotel Group 10 months ago, Ignace Bauwens has dramatically increased Wyndham’s presence in the region.

Wyndham has 27 hotels and 6,167 rooms in the MENA pipeline, while already operating 49 hotels and 8,528 rooms in the region. Bauwens, with 15 years of experience in the region, is focused on new brands and new openings.

He says: “We are very excited to open the largest Tryp by Wyndham in the world, with 650 rooms, in Dubai in August 2017. Tryp by Wyndham in Abu Dhabi is already operational [and] we also plan to bring another of our brands, Wyndham Garden, to the region in 2017 with the opening of hotels in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Ajman, UAE.” He adds that the largest Wyndham Garden in the world will also be introduced in this region, in Manama, Bahrain.

In the past year, Wyndham has expanded its presence in the region with many signings, including the 179-room Wyndham Garden in Ajman and the 126-room Ramada Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

“In the first six months of 2017, we signed deals on an impressive number of new hotels across the Middle East, including one hotel in Kuwait, one in Saudi Arabia, and four in the UAE, which combined will add 1,055 rooms to our count across the region,” Bauwens says.

“In the past 10 months, I have been evaluating new geographies for potential growth.”

He explains that he has identified key destinations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain for expansion, adding: “We also plan to double our presence in Africa in the coming years, with strong potential identified in Ghana, Kigali in Rwanda, and Lagos in Nigeria.”

Bauwens’ vision is to “build strong long-term partnerships with owners in the Middle East and Africa”. He believes that “the business of hospitality is not just about hotels and the physical infrastructure. It is about the people and the dedication and commitment of every professional in your team to work with passion and a genuine desire to make a difference to guests”.

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ALEX KYRIAKIDIS
President and managing director
OLIVIER GRANET
Managing director and chief operating officer
PASCAL GAUVIN
Chief operating officer, India, Middle East and Africa
MARK WILLIS
Area senior vice president Middle East, Turkey, and Africa
ANDREAS MATTMÜLLER
Chief operating officer, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
ALI HAMAD LAKHRAIM ALZAABI
Founder, president, and CEO, Millennium Hotels & Resorts
OMER KADDOURI
President and CEO
ROBERT KUNKLER
Chief operating officer
KAMEL AJAMI
Vice president operations
AMINE MOUKARZEL
President/ partner
IGNACE BAUWENS
Wyndham Hotel Group regional vice president
SAMI NASSER
COO luxury brands
PETER FULTON
Group president – Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Southwest Asia
HUSSAIN SAJWANI
Chairman
Simon Casson
President – hotel operations, Europe, Middle East & Africa
Dr Badr Al Badr
Chief executive officer
Antoine El Sayegh
President
Imad Elias
CEO
Vincent Miccolis
Country general manager, Middle East and Turkey
Mohamed Ahmed Awadalla
Chief executive officer
Henk Meyknecht
Chief operating officer, Middle East and Africa
Andrew Shaw
Assistant vice president — development EMEA
Laurent A. Voivenel
Senior vice president, operations, and development for the Middle East, Africa, and India
Sumair Tariq
Managing director
Baran Turkel
Managing directorTurkey, Middle East, and Central Asia,
Hatem Gasmi
Founder and managing director,
Aboudi Asali
Chief executive officer
Gabriel Escarrer Jaume
Vice chairman and CEO
Jamal Serhan
CEO and senior vice president
Hussein Ali Hatata
Vice president, hospitality division
Marc Dardenne
Group chief operating officer and interim CEO
Siegfried Nierhaus
Vice president Middle East
Rob Weeden
Vice president sales and marketing Europe
Kamal Fakhoury
Chief executive officer
Nehme Imad Darwiche
Founder and chief executive officer
Mohamed Soussan
Group general manager
Simon Coombs
President and CEO
Suparat Chirathivat
Vice president business development
David Grant Thomson
Chief operating officer
Prithvi Raj Singh Oberoi
Executive chairman
Philippe Zuber
President and chief operating officer
Anton Bawab
Regional president
Frederic Flageat-Simon
Chief executive officer
Sir Rocco Forte
Founder and chairman
Philippe Harb
Chief operating officer and partner
Ranjit Phillipose
General manager

BY THE NUMBERS

10
Number of months in the role
10
Number of months with the company
44
Number of operating hotels in the region as of July 2017
20
Number of pipeline hotels in the region as of July 2017

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